Ehime sees round of 16 action
Monday March 13 sees the third night of New Japan Cup second round action. Members five and six of the tournament quarterfinals will be decided, as tensions rise in the search for the annual King of Spring.
Main event: New Japan Cup Second Round- Will Ospreay vs Mark Davis
It’s a United Empire derby in the main event, as Will Ospreay goes head to head with a fellow UE member for the very first time, in the form of Mark Davis. Dunkzilla Davis’ power saw him overcome Toru Yano’s cunning, winning his first singles match in an NJPW ring, and sending him on a collision course with Ospreay. Both have been keen to state that they look forward to this intrafaction battle, Ospreay suggesting that competition will be what furthers the unit as a whole, while reminding Davis that people who have beaten him in his cup appearances to date- Okada in 2019 and Zack Sabre Jr. in 2022- went on to win the whole thing. Will Ospreay be taking a big step toward his second cup tonight, or will it be Davis making a shocking leap to his first?
6th Match: New Japan Cup Second Round: EVIL vs Jeff Cobb
Singles record: 2-1 Cobb
After EVIL ran through every page in the rule breakers handbook to defeat Ren Narita in the first round, he now faces bye recipient Jeff Cobb. Cobb has felt the frustration of falling to EVIL in the New Japan Cup in the past, with a 2021 defeat against a loaded deck. Yet Cobb also knows how to deliver the NJPW faithful from a lengthy run from the King of Darkness, most notably putting a stop to EVIL in 2021’s G1 Climax to the delight of the world public. Can he do the same tonight, or will EVIL and HOUSE OF TORTURE prevent a United Empire celebration in Shiga?
5th Match: CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, YOH & Lio Rush) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI)
Ten man action sees CHAOS go up against Los Ingobernables De Japon. Lio Rush’s preview campaign against Hiromu Takahashi en route to Nagaoka on March 21 continues apace, while Tetsuya Naito and SANADA will be thinking of their March 17 meeting in Korakuen quarter final action through their time on the same side tonight.
4th Match: United Empire (Kyle Fletcher, Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare) vs BULLET CLUB (David Finlay, El Phantasmo & Gedo)
Six man action will see Great-O-Khan and David Finlay facing off ahead of their second round matchup Wednesday, but as much as this matchup will be driven by a preview of tournament action, the ongoing intrigue continues to be around El Pahnatsmo and David Finlay’s all too evident distaste for one another. The BULLET CLUB internal strife almost exploded into an all out fight in Nagoya on Saturday night, as tags were made between the two with slaps to the face, and the duo only barely kept things together long enough to secure a win. will they be on the same page tonight at last, or will things continue to disintegrate between the two?
3rd Match: Just Two Guys (TAKA Michinoku & Taichi) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (SHO & Dick Togo)
Just Four Guys continue their runins with HOUSE OF TORTURE third on the card. Taichi has no interest in H.O.T, irritated at their presence as ‘distractions’ from their continuing path, and wants to put them firmly in the rear view tonight.
2nd Match: Shota Umino & Tama Tonga vs TMDK (Kosei Fujita & Zack Sabre Jr.)
With Shota Umino set to face Zack Sabre Jr. on Wednesday, a tag team preview sees the Roughneck tagging with the NEVER Openweight Champion Tama Tonga. Umino is hungry for both a spot in the quarterfinals and championship gold, and the NJPW World TV Championship around ZSJ’s waist is certainly appealing, but he can’t afford to get too far ahead of himself on either Wednesday night or tonight.
1st Match: Oskar Leube & Ren Narita vs BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens & KENTA)
Ren Narita, Chase Owens and KENTA all had rough nights Saturday in Aichi, Narita taking a pair of Rainmakers in defeat during he and Shota Umino’s tag match against Okada and Tanahashi, and Owens and KENTA both crashing out of the New Japan Cup. A chance for all three to rebuild then, as Oskar Leube also looks to bring the Hontai fight to BULLET CLUB.